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by Tony West and Bill P.
The luxurious K900 is one of Kia’s shining stars. Now with the Sorento and Soul emerging as top sellers in their segments, Kia was tasked with redesigning its full size luxury sedan to compete with the new Genesis G90 and Volvo S90.
The 2016 and 2017 Kia K900 rises to the challenge, offering 3 models and 2 engine options. The $49k K900 Premium V6 has a 3.8 liter V6. The $54k Luxury V6 has the same engine with an 8 speed automatic transmission and paddle shifters. And a new Luxury V8 model is available at just $61k with 420 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque.
The best part about the luxury K900 is the plethora of standard luxury and comfort technology at such at a competitive price. Before I even pull off, the multi-angle camera, heated and ventilated front seats, heads-up-display, and huge 9.2 inch touch screen put other luxury sedans to shame.
Kia has affordable luxury down to a science, adding more standard features and aerodynamic flair to its 2016 model. The carry over 2017 K900 has even more standard luxury and safety technology.
Yet improvements to the powertrain are still needed. We reviewed the 2016 Kia K900 V6 Luxury where the drivetrain had too many shortcomings with stability and handling in mild winter in Chicago. The 2016 K900 needed more advanced traction and a sophisticated damping system.
Looking to the 2017 Kia K900 I see improvements with revised multilink front and rear suspension, electro hydraulic power steering and standard shift and drive.What’s still missing is an advanced torque vectoring system, a more innovative all-wheel drive and possibly MacPherson Strut front/ rear suspension. Aluminum engine and suspension components would help drop weight.
Striking Stylish Exterior
Kia’s new K900 is a hot whip that gets hotter and sexier with each model. It’s instantly recognizable as something next-level from the brand. The 5-passenger sedan is huge with the 2017 model having a 119 inch wheelbase and 200 inches in length.
The 2017 Kia K900’s top-of-the-line Luxury V8 now has 19 inch chrome alloy wheels, dual chrome exhausts and LED head lights with dynamic bending.
The 2017 Kia K900 is more stout and planted to the ground. Chrome accents add flair to the 3D grille, windows, side sills and side air vents. All three models have stylish standard features like LED daytime running lights, LED fog lights, LED stop lamps, body color outside mirrors and a body color bumper with chrome garnish.
A welcome light feature opens the power folding side mirrors and lights the puddle lamps door handles, and side sills and interior as the driver approaches.
Also cool is the power sunroof with retractable sunshade and power trunk. With such huge dimensions it’s no wonder the K900 has abundant legroom and 15 cubic feet of trunk space.
Premium Cabin with Advanced Lux Technology
The 2017 K900 stunts with its supreme luxurious interior. Designers up the ante with the 2017 model offering even more standard features.
The interior of the top-notch Luxury V8 model has Premium Nappa leather upholstery and optional quilted Nappa leather. Drivers have a standard 12-way power seat and passengers have an 8-way power seat. Front seats are heated and ventilated with heated rear seats, all standard.
The Luxury V8 boasts a standard heated leather wrapped steering wheel with controls for cruise control, audio and the digital dash. Also dope is the aluminum, wood and contrast leather accents. Optional features include a Front Passenger Chauffer seat switch, power reclining rear seats, ventilated rear seats, air lumbar support, and Chamude suede headliner.
Drivers sit in optimal comfort with top-notch luxury and connectivity at their fingertips. The cabin is both driver-focused and passenger optimized with controls for comfort, A/C and audio also at the rear.
The Luxury V8 has a 12.3 inch TFT LCD instrument cluster standard with displays for navigation, audio, vehicle stats, and driving settings – all controlled from the steering wheel. I also dig the innovative Heads-Up-Display on the 2016 Luxury V8 that shows the Lane Departure Alert, speed limit, blind spot monitor and other important travel info.
Other cool features add connectivity like the extra USB in the rear center armrest, UVO services, Bluetooth and Homelink.
The 2017 K900 also includes cool stylish upgrades like the illuminated scuff plates, power rear sunshade, front and rear parking sensors, push button start, keyless entry and front and rear camera.
The spacious rear seat with heating and available recline function is great for executive travel. All the rear needs is its own entertainment suite, table and massage function as add-ons.
Underdeveloped Powertrain needs Tuning
The 2017 Kia K900 hits a home run inside and out. But its powertrain needs to be redesigned for 2018. I was surprised at how much the lux sedan underperformed in virtually every scenario. The 2017 K900 Premium V6 and Luxury V6 feature a 3.8 liter GDI V6 engine with 311 horsepower and 293 lb-ft of torque. All 3 models feature an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The 2016 K900 had issues with straight-line drivability, turning and corning. Acceleration was sluggish – even in sport mode. And the brakes felt mushy. The 2016 K900 Luxury V6 became a death trap in an inch of snow, spinning out of control with the tap of the gas. Even a slow turn would cause the 2016 K900 to fish tail. For 2018 engineers need to focus on stability and traction for this over 4,000 lb. sedan.
Standard safety features include Hill Start Assist, Brake Assist System, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Electronic Stability Control, ABS and a traction control system.
Along with a blind spot detection system and rear cross traffic alert, I also dig the innovative Heads up Display that shows safety features and speed limit info on the windshield. I also like the rear park sensors and camera with many angle options that shows a 360-degree view of the whip. Parking is a breeze. However, the forward collision alert was OCD, beeping for snow and invisible obstructions caught by the front sensor.
At less than $62k, the 2017 Kia K900 top-of-the-line Luxury V8 is still a great buy. Upgrades to the chassis and driving dynamics will make the sedan a segment leader.